From Where I Sit – Craig At Night

It could be menopause. Then again, it could be years of first living with the torn rotator cuff and the past three months of living with the post-surgery pain. It could be our new furnace that starts with the decibels of a jet engine and the air rush of a turbine. It could also be an over-active mind replaying today and anticipating tomorrow. Or perhaps it’s all of the above.

At any rate, I’m sick and tired of not getting a decent night’s sleep. I’m sick of seeing the hours tick by on my clock as I toss and turn trying to get comfy and settled, of flipping my pillow to the cool side, of covering and uncovering, of one or two trips to the washroom. I’m glad that Roy can fall asleep within nano-seconds of hitting the pillow, though when he snores that’s just one more irritant to me.

I don’t exercise right before bed. I try not to eat before bedtime. I aim for a consistent bedtime. I do my list making ahead of time.

I’ve even given up my late night news fix and switched to Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson. I’ve traded gruesome for garrulous and bad news for frivolous news. I find David Letterman irritating. The hyperactive, over-grown redheaded kid (aka Conan O’Brien) aggravates me to no end. It’s scary to think Conan is being groomed as Jay’s replacement when Jay hangs up his microphone and drives off into the sunset on one of his bikes.

I love many of Jay’s regular features, including Monday Night Headlines, Jay-Walking, Did it Sell on EBay?, Jeopardy and more. I love his beating of the “how fat are we” drum in virtually every monologue.

However my new favourite is Craig Ferguson, formerly of the Drew Carey Show. His humility is touching, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but touching nonetheless. Leno has the stars autograph a Harley, Craig’s guests sign a Vespa. There’s no in-house band. The set is small. The guests aren’t exactly A List.

I find him clever. I love the double entendres. I love the references to the past and the need to really pay attention to get it. I even love the goofy sound effects. All the late night guys have had a field day with the recent spate of celebs going into rehab anytime they act like jackasses (e.g., Isaiah Washington, Rev. Hagerty, Kramer, and Lindsay Lohan). Ferguson is very open about his own alcoholism and just celebrated 15 years of sobriety. After Britney Spears’ recent meltdown and the Anna Nicole Smith circus, Craig spoke eloquently and seriously about how as a comedian he has exploited the misery of celebrity lives for a laugh. But as he marked his own successful recovery, he committed to no longer target victims. The rich and the powerful are still fair game, but not those who so desperately need help.

The vulnerability and wisdom he displays makes me love him more. His stance makes sense. It may even help me sleep nights. Let’s hope so, from where I sit.